Bluffton vs. Anderson

Wednesday, January 24, 2001
Founders Hall

BC Game Day Notes

Two teams aiming to get back into the Heartland Conference win column collide in Founders Hall tonight as the Bluffton College women's basketball team hosts Anderson University. Tonight's game marks the last time this season that the Beavers will be facing a new opponent, as the rest of their schedule is made up of return games against HCAC schools and Thomas More.

Most of the faces are familiar, however, as Anderson graduated just one player from last year's team and Bluffton didn't lose any. Bluffton won both meetings against Anderson last year as the Ravens struggled through an 0-12 HCAC campaign and finished 6-18 overall. BC forced 26 turnovers in taking a 79-59 win over the Ravens last year in Founders Hall, but Anderson defended their home court well as Bluffton escaped with a 61-57 triumph.

Bluffton snapped a two-game losing skid Saturday by beating a visiting Thomas More squad 74-60. Seniors Liz Bock and Jen Bear both recorded double-doubles as Bear concluded a fine week by being named the HCAC Player of the Week. In two games last week she combined for 27 points and 20 rebounds.

Against Thomas More, BC scored the final 11 points of the first half to take a 41-29 lead at halftime, then broke away from a 50-50 tie with a 19-2 run in the second half to put the game out of reach. Bear and Bock both scored 14 points and collected 14 and 11 rebounds, respectively, while senior Kristy Crall collected 13 points and sophomore Kristin Helvey dished out eight assists.

Anderson started out this season 2-1 but lost five in a row after that and have dropped four of their last five games, including last Saturday at Defiance by a lopsided 90-43 score. The Ravens, picked seventh in the HCAC coaches pre-season poll, are led by Rachel and Ardath Miller (no relation). Both averaged in double-figures last season and scored in double-figures in two games against Bluffton. Rachel has come on to dominate the HCAC this season, as her 14.7 points per game ranks third and her 11.6 rebounds per game is far and away tops in the league, although Bluffton post players Bear and Elizabeth Snavely both have collected more boards at the offensive end. The Bear-Snavely duo fills the HCAC individual rankings, as does the guard combination of Crall and Helvey. In addition, Bock ranks second in the league in field goal percentage and fifth in blocked shots.

The Ravens defense gives up only 62.1 points per game (2nd in the HCAC) and is just one of three HCAC schools with a positive rebounding margin. However, Anderson ranks last in steals and turnover margin and is 6th in blocked shots. Bluffton finds themselves in the middle of the pack in most stats, although BC leads the league in assists, on the positive side, but also turnovers, on the negative side.

Elsewhere around the Heartland Conference today, Mount St. Joseph travels to Hanover and Franklin is at Defiance.